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Ex-FBI Agent Faces Sentencing for Helping Armenian Organized Crime Figures in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A retired FBI agent faces sentencing Monday for accepting at least $150,000 in bribes in exchange for providing confidential information to Armenian organized crime figures in Los Angeles.

Babak Broumand, 56, of Lafayette, California, was found guilty last year in Los Angeles of taking bribes and money laundering.

Broumand, an FBI special agent from January 1999 until shortly after search warrants were served on his home and businesses in 2018, was responsible for national security investigations and was assigned to the FBI Field Office in San Francisco.

According to evidence presented at his 11-day trial, from January 2015 to December 2018, Broumand accepted cash, checks, private jet flights, a Ducati motorcycle, hotel stays, escorts, meals, and other items of value from Edgar Sargsyan, an organized crime-linked Beverly Hills attorney who had paid someone else to take the bar exam in his name.

In return for bribes, Broumand conducted law enforcement database inquiries and used those inquiries to help Sargsyan and his associates avoid prosecution and law enforcement monitoring. Specifically, Broumand informed Sargsyan whether a particular person or entity was under criminal investigation.

To conceal the nature of their relationship, Broumand made it appear as though Sargsyan was working as an FBI source. Broumand wrote reports after the fact to make it falsely appear that he conducted legitimate law enforcement database inquiries.


Alina Sargsyan, President Donald Trump and Edgar Sargsyan (Image Defense exhibit 1001 in US v Babak Broumand)

In exchange for the illegal inquiries, Sargsyan paid Broumand at least $150,000 in bribes that including a Ducati motorcycle and accessories valued at more than $36,000. The bribes were deposited into the accounts for Love Bugs LLC, a lice-removal hair salon business that Broumand and his wife started in 2007.

In May 2016, Broumand interfered with an FBI investigation into Felix Cisneros Jr., a corrupt special agent with Homeland Security Investigations who also had ties to Armenian crime figures, court papers show.

Cisneros, of Murrieta, was convicted in Los Angeles federal court in two different cases. The first trial, in 2018, resulted from Cisneros' efforts to help a Mexican national linked to organized crime enter the country. The second trial last year resulted from Cisneros' efforts on behalf of Sargsyan.

The former HSI agent was sentenced in November to over 10 years in federal prison for accepting cash payments and other benefits to help an Armenian organized crime figure, including taking official action designed to help two foreign nationals gain entry into the United States.

Sargsyan, who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to more than $250,000 in bribes he paid to the federal agents for access to confidential law enforcement information, faces sentencing in Los Angeles next month.

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